Shakespeare and Company


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Episode notes

Our Bloomcasters reconvene on January 6th, “Joycension Day”, to discuss The Dead : the final piece in Joyce’s Dubliners, described by T. S. Eliot as "one of the greatest short stories ever written". 

Leaning heavily as always on the wisdom of honorary Bloomcasters Declan Kiberd and Colm Toibin, they cover orchestrated dinner parties, ego death, the circularity of human life, the music of words, and much more.

Carrying forth a Bloomcast tradition, they also play a festive game, populating competing dinner parties with characters from Dubliners and Ulysses.

Happy New Year (and Joycension Day)!


Mentioned in the podcast:

‘The Dead’, by James Joyce:

Prof. Declan Kiberd, ‘Dubliners: The First 100 Years,’ at the James Joyce Center (2014):

Dubliners, with an introduction by Colm Toibin (Canongate):

London Review of Books. ‘Arruginated’, by Colm Toibin:

John Huston’s 1987 film adaptation of ‘The Dead’:

“The Lass of Aughrim,” from the Huston film:

Annie Baker’s Infinite Life: 

Circles by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  


Alice McCrum is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Princeton University. Before starting her graduate work, Alice lived in Paris, where she taught at the Sorbonne, studied public policy at Sciences Po-Paris, and directed cultural programming at the American Library in Paris. 

Lex Paulson is Director of Executive Programs at the UM6P School of Collective Intelligence (Morocco) and lectures in advocacy and human rights at Sciences Po-Paris. Trained in classics and community organizing, he served as mobilization strategist for the campaigns of Barack Obama in 2008 and Emmanuel Macron in 2017. He served as legislative counsel in the 111th U.S. Congress (2009-2011), organized on six U.S. presidential campaigns, and has worked to advance democratic innovation at the European Commission and in India, Tunisia, Egypt, Uganda, Senegal, Czech Republic and Ukraine. He is author of Cicero and the People’s Will: Philosophy and Power at the End of the Roman Republic, from Cambridge University Press, and is co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance.

Adam Biles is an English writer and translator based in Paris. He is Literary Director at Shakespeare and Company. In 2022, he conceived and presented Friends of Shakespeare and Company read Ulysses—an epic, polyphonic celebration of James Joyce’s masterwork. Feeding Time, his first novel, was published by Galley Beggar Press in 2016. It was published by Editions Grasset in France in 2018 to great critical acclaim. His second novel, Beasts of England, was published in September 2023 by Galley Beggar Press, and will be published in 2025 by Editions Grasset. It was selected as a "2023 highlight" by The Guardian. A collection of his conversations with writers, The Shakespeare and Company Book of Interviews, was published by Canongate in October 2023

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